Southern California Campus Tour Spotlights ANCA Programs Geared to Kickstart Public Policy Careers

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ANCA’s Tereza Yerimyan and Program Alumni Share Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway and Karabian Fellowship Success Stories

WASHINGTON—Armenian-American university students from throughout the Southland took a break from final exam and graduation preparation to learn more about the Armenian National Committee of America’s (ANCA) signature career development efforts—the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program (CGP) in Washington D.C. and the Walter and Laurel Karabian Fellowship in Sacramento, Calif.— with ANCA CGP Program Director Tereza Yerimyan and ANCA Western Region (ANCA-WR) advocates offering presentations at seven campuses in as many days.

The ANCA’s Tereza Yerimyan is joined by the ANCA Western Region’s Alina Sarkisian, Levon Tossonian, and Ani Isayan at a presentation hosted by the UC San Diego ASA.

“It is encouraging to meet so many bright and energetic students who are preparing to take the next steps in their educations and careers, looking to the ANCA to help empower their success,” remarked Yerimyan. “We’re getting record numbers of applications for our internship and career development programs—and look to assist as many qualified candidates as possible—in D.C., Sacramento, and the Southland.”

The deadline for the Fall Capital Gateway session is June 15. To learn more about the program and to apply, visit:

Yerimyan traveled to California for presentations hosted by Armenian Students Associations at University of California Irvine (UCI), University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), University of California San Diego (UCSD), and Azusa Pacific University (APU). She also tabled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Cal State Northridge (CSUN), where interested students stopped by the ANCA booth for a cup of coffee and career advice. Yerimyan conferred with leaders of the All-ASA about expanded outreach efforts, shared program highlights during a presentation at Armenian Youth Federation Seminar at Camp Big Pines in Wrightwood, CA, and met with interested students on a one-to-one basis.

One such student, Pepperdine University sophomore Garen Kosoyan, was seeking a placement as part of the University’s D.C. internship program. “During my meeting with Tereza in California, I was immediately drawn by the mission that drives the ANCA. I applied to the program and I am now pleased to be an intern with the Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights (ALC).”

During the course of the tour, Yerimyan was joined by colleagues from the ANCA-WR, who also spoke about local internship opportunities in Los Angeles and the successes of the prestigious Walter and Laurel Karabian Fellowship.  “The Walter Karabian Fellowship is a nine-month long journey for those interested in statewide public policy matters,” noted ANCA-WR Board Member, Joseph Kaskanian. “The Fellowship program offers an invaluable experience and exposure to the day-to-day workings of Sacramento, and an opportunity to strengthen your analytical skills.”

ANCA Capital Gateway Program Director Tereza Yerimyan sharing the broad range of internship and career development opportunities – in DC, LA and Sacramento – with UC Santa Barbara ASA students.

In an educational given to the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) leadership at Camp Big Pines, former ANCA-WR intern and current ANCA-WR Events Coordinator, Lori Sinanian spoke of her experience as an intern and the relevance to youth today. “The ANCA is a true grassroots political lobbying organization, in the best sense of this term. Like grass, we grow from the ground up—with deep roots in our community, nurtured by our surroundings, and enriching our environment.  Don’t let the term politics deter you from applying. This is politics in its most admirable sense—working together for justice and for each other.”

Photos from the campus and community visits are available on the ANCA Facebook page at:

Launched in 2003 with a founding grant by the Cafesjian Family Foundation, the ANCA CGP has helped over 150 Armenian American professionals from across the U.S. explore career prospects in Washington. Gateway Program fellows are offered three months of free housing at the ANCA’s Aramian House, located in the heart of Washington, D.C. in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, just blocks from the ANCA offices. The Capital Gateway Program Advisory Committee (CGPAC), comprised of a rotating group of program alumni, coordinates a series of career placement workshops on a range of issues including resume and cover letter preparation, effective interview strategies and networking. The CGPAC also connects fellows with mentors most closely aligned with their career goals for one-on-one advice and encouragement.

The ANCA CGP is named after Hovig Apo Saghdejian, a beloved young community leader who lost his life in a tragic car accident in 2005 and whose eternal memory continues to inspire new generations of Armenian Americans. His family generously established the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Memorial Fund  and, over the past decade, have played a vital role in the expansion of the program. Substantial support has also been provided by longtime ANCA benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Barbara Hekimian and the Armenian American Veterans Post of Milford, Mass. (AAVO).

The Walter and Laurel Karabian Fellowship is a nine-month experience in California that offers young Armenian-Americans the opportunity to enhance their leadership and professional skills. The purpose of this fellowship will be to produce professionals in the public policy and political arena.

The ANCA-WR Internship Program is a selective part-time leadership program, which introduces high school graduates, college students, and recent college graduates to all aspects of the public affairs arena. The program provides an opportunity for student leaders and activists to gain an in-depth understanding of the American political system, Armenian-American issues and advocacy efforts on the local, state and federal levels.

The 2015 purchase of The Aramian House was made possible through a generous donation by the family of the late community leader and philanthropist Martha Aramian of Providence, Rhode Island. The Aramian family—led by sisters Sue, Margo, and the late Martha—have long been among the most generous benefactors of ANCA programs as well as of charitable projects in the Armenian homeland and the Diaspora.

Source: Armenian Weekly
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